To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, for what reason there is different (a) maternity and (b) adoption financial support for the self-employed; and what steps he plans to take to help ensure that the self-employed are supported during the process of adoption.
16 November 2021
Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) forms part of a package of employment rights and protections available specifically to the employed. These rights do not extend to the self-employed because of the difference in the nature of the employment. If you are self-employed and expecting, you can apply for Maternity Allowance which is designed for the flexible nature of self-employment and will support you to take a break from your business prior to, and after, giving birth.
The Government recognises that it is crucial to the success of an adoption placement that an adopter takes time off work to care for and bond with their child. So far, the Government has focused on supporting employed parents as they do not generally have the same level of flexibility and autonomy over how and when they work as self-employed parents do. Statutory adoption guidance says that Local Authorities should consider making a payment - equivalent to Maternity Allowance - in cases where adopters do not qualify for any statutory payment because of their self-employment.